From a deadly pandemic to the death of an icon to a global movement for racial justice, the year 2020 certainly had us shocked and shook … and we’ll never be the same. Here’s a countdown of 10 of the most shocking events that happened this year.
Niecy Nash Marries Jessica Betts
Niece Nash shocked us all with her surprise wedding in 2020. Not only did the Claws actress tie the knot less than a year after splitting from husband Jay Tucker … she got hitched to a woman. Nash announced her marriage to singer Jessica Betts via social media alongside a series of photos. “Mrs. Carol Denise Betts,” she wrote along with a diamond ring emoji and the hashtag #LoveWins.” In her Instagram Stories she also shared a pic of the couple, but instead wrote “#PlotTwist.” Back in 2013 she released the book It’s Hard To Go To Sleep Naked, coaching women on how to find and keep Mr. Right. She also dedicated the book to her husband Jay who she was married to for 8 years. Following news of her nuptials to Betts, Nash told People “She is the most beautiful soul I have ever met in my life.” She also proclaimed that she her marriage is not a “coming out” but “who she is in this moment.”
Nate Robinson Get’s Knocked Out
“You got knocked the f–k out, man!!!” It’s the famous line Chris Tucker’s character Smokey uttered in the cult classic “Friday.” But, it’s also everyone’s collective sentiment when Youtuber Jake Paul KO’d former NBA star Nate Robinson in to oblivion. The fight wasn’t even the Main Event. Paul v. Robinson was the undercard to the much-hyped Mike Tyson v. Roy Jones Jr. bout. But, by the end of both fights the only thing folks were talking about was Robinson’s near-death experience — that, and the hilarious commentary provided by Snoop Dogg! The whole night was definitely a top 2020 moment.
Kanye West Has A Manic Breakdown
Kanye West creates controversy everywhere he goes. But, in 2020 the extreme ranges in Yeezy’s behavior were odd even for the infamous MC. It was no surprise when Mr. West doubled down on his Trump endorsement (once he put on that MAGA hat we knew there was no going back). But, what WAS surprising was his insistence on running for the presidency himself, even after it was clear he didn’t have a shot in hell at winning. Ye was so focused on the oval office that he held campaign rallies across the country — but it was the one in South Carolina that was the most shocking. While recounting a story about the time he and wife Kim Kardashian contemplated aborting their first-born child, North, the “Jesus Walks” rapper broke down in hysterical tears. It was Kanye like we’ve never seen him before.
West’s range of emotions in 2020 also included powerful moments with his Sunday Service choir on one hand, and on the other, trashing the entire Kardashian/Jenner family on Twitter, and even going after Kim, too. Throughout it all we have to say the elephant in the room has always been Ye’s battle with mental health issues. At least this year, with the help of his wife, Kanye’s condition became more of the conversation instead, ‘oh that’s just crazy Kanye.’
Tim Norman Arrested For Murder For Hire Plot
Everyone can agree there was something fishy about “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” star and producer James Timothy Norman, but none of us could have predicted this. On August 19, the 41-year-old reality star was arrested on federal charges stemming from the 2016 killing of his 18-year-old nephew, Andre Montgomery. According to WAPT Norman was charged with conspiracy to use a cellphone in the commission of a murder-for-hire, resulting in death. An affidavit filed Aug. 11 states Norman conspired with an exotic dancer named Terica Ellis, of Memphis, Tennessee, using prepaid cellphones to coordinate the murder of Montgomery, on March 14, 2016, in St. Louis, Missouri. The affidavit also states Norman attempted to obtain a life insurance policy for Montgomery in the amount of $250,000 in October 2014, but the policy was not issued. Another policy totaling $450,000 was issued by a separate insurance company two weeks later, and Norman was named as the sole beneficiary. To make matters worse Norman is seen on the families reality series talking about the tragic death of his nephew all while consoling his mother Miss Robbie.
Megan Thee Stallion Gets Shot By Tory Lanez
This was one story that dominated the summer of 2020 … for all the wrong reasons. By all accounts, both Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez were having a great year. But, a wild night in July changed all of that. Meg, her (former) friend Kelsey, and Tory enjoyed an intimate pool party at Kylie Jenner’s home. However, it’s when the trio left that things got a little murky. The car they were all traveling in was pulled over by the police, Meg was seen on camera doing a perp walk, all the while her foot was bleeding! Initially, it was believe that Meg cut her foot on some glass. But after weeks of silence on the matter Meg hopped on social media and finally reveal what really happened — Tory shot her after a heated altercation. Tory has not only denied shooting Meg, he has also pleaded not guilty in the legal proceedings, AND he dropped a whole album disparaging the “WAP” rapper, while consistently gaslighting her on social media. We’ll be keeping an eye on this story in 2021 — hopefully justice is served!
Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Entanglement With August Alsina
As far as celebrity scandals go, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s now infamous affair with R&B crooner August Alsina is one for the history books. Not only did it dominate Twitter and headlines for weeks, it birthed the term “Entanglement” and will forever be known as Entanglement Gate. Just when we were catching our breath from the whirlwind of BLM protests and COVID-19, Alsina broke the internet with a bombshell confession about his relationship with Mrs. Pinkett-Smith. In true Hollywood fashion the “Girls Trip” actress said the accusations were “absolutely not true.” Jada’s hubby Will Smith, who Alsina said co-signed the adulterous affair, also denied the allegations. Then Pinkett-Smith brought herself to the red table for an episode of her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk. Her hubby joined her and after 12 minutes they walked us through the timeline of events : Jada hooked up with August while she and Will were on a break, August fell in love and then Jada went back to Will. The end. Somehow sympathy for Will ensued, there were lots of jokes at Jada’s expense, Will’s rumored fling with actress Margot Robbie resurfaced but the couple proclaimed they are stronger than ever and in a “bad marriage for life”… go figure.
Chadwick Boseman Dies From Colon Cancer
Nothing could have prepared the world for the death of actor and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman. The 43 year old’s family broke the news in a statement revealing Boseman died after a four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman was diagnosed in 2016 and kept his illness private only telling a handful of his close friends and family. During that time he “underwent countless surgeries and chemotherapy” while also filming movies like Black Panther, Captain America, Thurgood Marshall, Da Five Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. “This is what dignity looks like,” wrote Oprah Winfrey. Countless other tributes from Boseman’s co-stars have continued to poor in as Disney and Marvel have announced they will not re-cast Black Panther in the upcoming sequel.
George Floyd’s Death Sparks Global BLM Protests
For seven minutes and 46 seconds, George Floyd laid helpless and unarmed as officer Derek Chauvin put his knee into Floyd’s neck killing him. On May 25th, the 46-year-old was arrested after a Minneapolis store clerk called the police wrongfully accusing Floyd of using a counterfeit 20 to pay for cigarettes. It took four cops to subdue and ultimately kill George as he begged for air. Footage of the disgusting crime was caught on camera and sparked the biggest movement in modern day history, the Black Lives Matter protests.
The movement also helped bring attention to the unjust murder of Breonna Taylor — a Louisville, Kentucky EMT killed inside her apartment after police executed a “no-knock” warrant and shot her six times. Fed up with the constant hashtags and senseless police caused deaths, people worldwide began to take a stand. By June 6th, less than two weeks after Floyd’s death, half a million people turned out for protests in nearly 550 places across the country, according to the New York Times. Celebrities like Porsha Williams, Michael B. Jordan, Madonna, Ariana Grande and more took to the front lines of protests in their cities. Unfortunately, the verdict on Breonna Taylor’s death is a constant reminder of broken and racist justice system but we are glad BLM has at least finally caught it’s attention.
The Death Of Kobe Bryant
2020 kicked off with the shocking death of beloved NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. The world was rocked with news that the 41-year-old , his daughter and 7 others died in a fiery helicopter crash on the morning of January 26, 2020. According to reports, Bryant was on his way to a youth basketball tournament with his daughter along with some of her teammates and their parents when the pilot encountered heavy fog. The helicopter ended up losing altitude before crashing into a Calabasas hillside. Fans, teammates, and friends naturally gathered in front of the Staple Center to lay out candles and grieve together. Sports legends, family, and other celebs like his wife Vanessa Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Beyoncé and more paid tribute to Kobe at the one place he called home for over 18 years. Newly erected murals and memorial sites all over the world have shown that even though they are gone the Kobe and Gigi will surely never be forgotten.
The World Shuts Down Due To Covid-19
Like a scene straight out of a bad horror movie, the Coronavirus was first reported as a new pneumonia strain between December 12-31, 2019 in Wuhan, China. It’s first death was reported on January 11, 2020 and 10 days later the first case of the virus arrived in the U.S. By March, WHO declared the outbreak to be a pandemic as it quickly spread around the world. But Black Twitter was still skeptical with the hashtag DatRona taking over. It wasn’t until celebs like Tom Hanks and our beloved Idris Elba announced they had it that folks began to take it seriously … and running to the stores to buy as much toilet tissue, bleach, and any other disinfectant they could.
Soon the severity of the pandemic halted simple pleasures like travel, indoor dining and many jobs for non essential workers as well as locked down major cities. Do we even remember a world where we didn’t need masks? Now an entire year later, there has been over 19 million cases and over 300k deaths… and that’s only in the U.S. With numbers still on the rise, a regular life seems a distant memory now. Thankfully, two vaccines have since been developed even though it has many Black folks skeptical AGAIN.